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Unexpected trips to the veterinarian prove pets can be expensive

In addition to the two-legged children, I am the “mom” of five of the four-legged variety. That is two Cocker Spaniels (Gypsy and Sadie Rose) and three cats (Spooky, Tails and Nikki). All except Gypsy are considered seniors. Sadie Rose just turned 7 while the cats are 12, 13 and 15. This leaves Gypsy as the “baby” at age 2 ½.

When you have multiple pets – especially older ones – you have to expect a certain amount of expense. There of course is food, treats, cat litter, and toys. And then there is the normal well-checks and shots. But one thing it is hard to prepare for is when you fur-baby gets hurt or sick.

Lexie always talks about when she grows up she is going to have two dogs and a cat. Or sometimes it is three dogs or some other arrangement of pets – maybe even a hamster or ferret. And I’m all for her having pets, but I do remind her that she has to have the money to pay for their care. And two incidents that have happened to our animal family are driving that point home.

Since April, we have had medical problems with our eldest cat Nikki and our eldest dog Sadie Rose. Let’s start with Nikki. She is prone to urinary-tract infections so when she started peeing on a bathroom rug and attempted to pee on my bed (thankfully I stopped before she did anything), I called the vet. Due to their COVID-19 rules, they couldn’t get her in for a week, so I had to take her to the emergency clinic. And I am glad I did as she had a very strong urinary tract infection. They actually tested to see what type of infection because of her history. And because of the history, they wanted a follow up visit and kept her on antibiotics until she tested with no infection. Those extra visits and tests of course add up quickly.

Now, Sadie Rose is overweight, and I think it is taking a toll on her body. Last week, she hurt what we thought was her hip. She was in obvious pain. But the next day seemed better. And then the following day, she yelped as she went up the stairs. After that, she refused to go up them, but she was walking fine. She does have a good memory, so I chalked it up to her remembering it hurt to go upstairs. Two days later, out of nowhere, she started whining and looking at her left hind leg. She had just been lying on the bed and suddenly she was in pain.

The next day I took her to the vet to have them check out her leg. Since we weren’t sure if it was the hip or the leg, they did an x-ray and exam. (Yep, you can already hear the cha-ching as the bill is already climbing.) But Sadie Rose was also due for some shots and a “senior” dog well-check. As a senior, she had blood work (cha-ching). And they determine she had a yeast infection in both ears. (cha-ching again)

As for her leg, they noted that her kneecap kept popping and believe that is what is causing her pain. They give her some anti-inflammatory/pain medication but other than that, there is not much they can do. She may just be prone to this in the future. So rest, temporary use of the pain meds and losing weight were what they suggested. After paying the four (yes – four!) digit bill, we went home where I reminded everyone that we need to help her lose weight. She has lost 2 lbs in the last year but has at least 5 more to go. A fit dog will hopefully mean fewer medical bills.

And here is to hoping that the rest of the animals don’t run into any health issues. We have certainly exceeded our pet care budget with these two unexpected trips to the vet.

All set for Halloween
Representing author K. T. McQueen

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